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Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop perform in The Current studio

Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop perform in The Current studio.
Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop perform in The Current studio.MPR photo/Leah Garaas
  Play Now [15:09]

by Mary Lucia, Jesca Hoop and Sam Beam

June 09, 2016

Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop - Kiss Me Quick (live on 89.3 The Current)
by MPR
Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop - Know the Wild that Wants You (live on 89.3 The Current)
by MPR
Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop - We Two Are a Moon (live on 89.3 The Current)
by MPR

Beyond music, Seam Beam and Jesca Hoop both love food. "He and I both share a fondness for flavors, textures, combinations," Hoop says.

Their fondness for textures and combinations extends beyond edibles; listening to the texture and combination of their two voices blending during a performance, one might get the suspicion they're related. They're not, at least not that they know of, but they've collaborated on a new album, Love Letter for Fire. Touring in support of the album, Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop stopped in to The Current studio for a session hosted by Mary Lucia. Beam and Hoop play at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis on Thursday night.

Beam says the idea of forming a duo was his, but it took him some time to find the right collaborator. "I'd been thinking about this kind of record for a long time because I love duets," he says. "I had talked to several people about this idea, several potential writing partners, and everyone was pretty supportive but nothing too committal. And so eventually I found Jes's music just randomly on the internet … when I discovered it, I discovered this whole new continent of music that I love and it was fun to be able to say, 'Who is this ? Where has this been?' Because our songwriting, I think, pursues some similar things. Her voice is fantastic, she has a really fun sense of melody — adventurous and exciting. And so I had some shows lined up, and I invited her to come on tour, just some get-to-know-you time, and it sort of took off from there."

Touring together has further cemented the duo's friendship. "I think both Sam and I love the travel, and love the meeting of new people and the invitation of new experiences," Hoop says. "That is a substantial thing we share in common."

They've also forged deeper friendships with the rest of their band; although Beam and Hoop performed as a duo in our studio, the live stage show features keyboards and a rhythm section. "With a group of people like we're traveling with, you form whole languages and things that will only be funny to that group of people," Hoop says. "We're surrounded by very good friends, people maybe we were friends with before but are now friends because of this journey we've taken together. It is those idiosyncratic moments and the languages that you form together that forms lasting friendships."

Hear more from Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop, including some other voices — both solo and duet — that they find inspiring, plus a conversation about the posters that decorated their bedroom walls as teenagers. Use the audio player above to listen to the complete interview.

Songs Performed

"Kiss Me Quick"
"Know the Wild that Wants You"
"We Two Are a Moon"
All songs from Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop's 2016 album, Love Letter for Fire, available on Sub Pop.

Hosted by Mary Lucia
Produced by Derrick Stevens
Engineered by Michael DeMark
Visuals by Leah Garaas
Words by Luke Taylor